Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France from May 2007 to May 2012, is currently in the running for the French presidency in an election that will be held in 2017. That election will be settled in May of next year so the result is still a little ways off. However, Sarkozy is among the realistic candidates that have a chance of winning the 2017 presidency. He has spoken to taxing American imports to Europe if the USA does not back a recently negotiated international agreement with implications for climate change.
Sarkozy versus Trump on environmentalism?
Sarkozy spoke with TF1 television on Sunday on matters regarding the climate, Donald Trump, and what could be potential headbutting between he and Trump. According to Sarkozy (qtd. in "The World and All Its Voices") "Donald Trump has said...that he won’t respect the conclusions of the Paris climate agreement.” That recent agreement is one that is meant to curtail and/or reverse the effects of global warming. However, Trump himself is a climate-change denier, something that puts him out of touch with most politicians and certainly out of touch with environmental scientists. Whether Trump's anti-climate change stance was the hot air that his Mexican wall idea was is something that we'll learn in time.
But according to a November 13th article at The Guardian, Trump is "seeking quickest way to quit Paris climate agreement" (no author listed). Seemingly in agreement with this, Trump has appointed leading American climate change denier Myron Ebell to head Trump's transition team to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sarkozy may tax American products
Sarkozy has claimed that, in the event that the "United States doesn’t apply environmental rules that (France imposes) on (French) companies" that he would "demand that Europe put in place a carbon tax at its border, a tax of 1-3 per cent, for all products coming from the United States." Sarkozy suggests that Trump might not keep his promise to oppose the Paris agreement and, in the same boat, perhaps Sarkozy won't keep his if he wins the French election at all. Furthermore, the French president isn't in position to enforce all of Europe to do anything, although he would be a significant lobby.
However, climate change policy has always been problematic in the sense that it could create an unlevel playing field between countries. If one country is obeying climate change protocols and following procedures that decrease carbon emissions, at greater expense, while another is using procedures that save costs but increase carbon emissions then the former could have higher prices on their products on the global market than the latter. You can see how environmentally-friendly procedures need to be universal or else the lowest common denominator might have to prevail, with everyone striving for a cheap price at any cost to the environment.
If Sarkozy gets elected and goes through with his tax on American goods then I wouldn't expect a Trump presidency to take that laying down. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there's an attempt to affect the French election from the White House after January's inauguration, with Sarkozy not being Washington's top preference. Meanwhile the doomsday clock is ticking as the World Meteorological Organization, a group composed of people that don't deny climate change like Bell and Trump, has announced that 2016 will be the hottest year on record in all probability, a matter I looked at in another article. #DonaldTrump #NicolasSarkozy #ParisAgreement